Archives for the month of: August, 2013

WUWT provides a particularly noteworthy hot-sheet today. Good stuff.

I’m particularly pointing out the dial-back of the El Reno tornado from an EF-5 to an EF-3. That is what they were initially calling it around here. Oh well. I am heartened to see the commitment to getting it right overall.

I’ll remind that polar bears eat snowy owls.

The CO2 note is particularly worth remembering. Our current CO2 levels are abnormally low. Please be mindful of the wording. CO2 is low. CO2 on our planet has been much higher throughout the geological epics, and current levels are well below average. A little lower and all life on earth will die. (As in 100% extinct, all of it.) While we are not in danger of CO2 going dangerously low, it seems particularly silly to worry about it going up a little when we are so close to the danger zone.

The Nature paper referred to is http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v500/n7464/full/nature12448.html, and they want $32 for it. Proud, aren’t they? (I like to think of knowledge as free, but what do I know. Knowledge is power, so they must think they can charge you for it.) The abstract and figures are available there, and the reference list and a supplemental information file, if you are so inclined.

The abstract is informative, and their use of models (and checking the results against the available data) seems appropriate.

It is most remarkable that these plants managed to evolve to control the concentration of CO2 where they needed high concentrations to match their original environment half-a-billion years ago. Cool. Of course if they hadn’t managed, they’d have died out, and we’d be trying to figure out why there is a change in the isotopes. Again, cool.

In the closing sentence of the abstract, the authors put themselves out there with a prediction that we will find more evidence of a CO2 reduction at that time so long ago. It also reminds me that cold kills. Warmer is better.

Watts Up With That?

WUWT_hot_sheet7

Since failures in climate science claims are on the rise, can we start naming climate prediction failures after scientists and activists? I can think of  a few: The Hansen Hiatus, for example.

Climate campaigners seem to think they have a winner with this takedown of elected officials who reject global warming science, in which fake news reports talk of the turmoil and tragedy created by Hurricane Marco Rubio, Hurricane James Inhofe, Hurricane John Boehner and more.

The trouble is, the science on a connection between hurricanes and global warming is going in the opposite direction, if the near-final draft of next month’s climate science assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is any indication.

Andrew Revkin at NYT’s DOT Earth

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I aver that regulation, not taxes and overspending, will be the downfall of our nation. It will likely even bring us to insurrection. It will eventually result in relegating us to third-world status.

In an article published at American Thinker, here, http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/08/regulating_our_way_to_mediocrity.html, Robert Schapiro gives an example of why I feel so strongly about this.

He decided, at the behest of friends, to set up a part-time sales booth at a farmers’ market for his homemade bread.

“It was [one] principle thing which held me back. I kept asking myself, what do I need this trouble for? I live a quiet life with minimal government attention. By baking for a farmers market, I am now attracting close scrutiny on federal, state, county, and village level as each parasitic department clambers for its unearned take.” Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Haynes writes at American Thinker:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/08/common_core_whats_in_it_for_bill_gates.html

The article is points out what a mess Gates and other leftist philanthropists have made of their “support” of education, and how badly it all fails.

She points out that in the last decade expenditures on testing (standardized tests, or “results” testing, if you will) have more than tripled. In a study published over a year ago (so not new information, and not surprising to anyone paying attention), Dr. Krashen estimates testing requirements will be 20 times higher under Common Core nationalization. At the time of the study, the US education system was spending $1.7 billion. 20 times that? Probably not, but 20 times more time and energy from our already stretched teachers, 20 times more time taken for testing and an untold amount of extra time teaching to the tests and teaching how to take the tests, especially given how important the test results are to the careers of the teachers!

End the madness. Common Core is bad. It will worsen an already failed system.  Read the rest of this entry »

Above all, truth.

Probably the most pointed assertion I’ve tried to make in my life is that our individual obligation is to the truth above all.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” ἡ ἀλήθεια = the truth Read the rest of this entry »

As a parent, I encourage home schooling. Mamma knows best. I also encourage everyone to vaccinate your children. It is the most significant health advancement of all time. Keep perspective. 400 years ago, half of all people died before their eighth birthday, mostly from diseases we have vaccines for now. It is our parental duty to take the best care of our children that we can. Vaccinating is the wisest choice available today.

21 measles cases tied to megachurch in Texas | Fox News.

BioLogos takes a moment to point to the Times interview of their founder:

“Recently in the New York Times Review of Books, Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health NIH and founder of the BioLogos Foundation, was interviewed about what he keeps on his bookshelf (and what he doesn’t).”

http://biologos.org/blog/francis-collins-by-the-book

They point to the Times here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/books/review/francis-s-collins-by-the-book.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Statistics don’t lie, but statisticians do. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. Likewise, science never lies, but it might be wrong, and scientists will certainly lie about it. It is important to be committed to being corrected. Being wrong is always much worse than being corrected. Go ahead and read Jim Steele’s essay about butterflies at wattsupwiththat.com.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University

An Illusion of Extreme Climate Disruption

“While clearing larvae were starving in response to destruction of their hosts, survival in the outcrop was higher than previously recorded: an estimated 80% of larval groups survived.” 1  – C. D. Thomas, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

In Part 1, I documented how Camille Parmesan’s 1996 paper (heralded as proof that global warming was forcing butterflies northward and upward) had misread landscape change for climate change, how she failed to publish that “extinct” populations had now recovered and refused to provide the data to permit replication of her iconic paper. In Part 2, I documented how Parmesan hijacked the conservation success story of the Large Blue and the detailed conservation science of Jeremy Thomas in order to again blame global warming for expanding the range of endangered…

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I wrote on this subject previously here, https://gottadobetterthanthis.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/literalness-or-is-it-idolatry/, dealing with insistence on literalness as being, perhaps, idolatrous.

Here I’m looking at the assertions in Deuteronomy and pointing out that it is either an absurd error or isn’t meant to be taken literally. Moses could not comprehend the number of stars, but God knows, and knew just as well then.  Read the rest of this entry »

Pointman's

If you want to con serious amounts of money out of other people, you’ve got to sell them a story and the story you sell, comes in one of two basic flavours.

The first one is the traditional basis of most confidence tricks and at the end of the day, it revolves about their greed. If you’re not a greedy person, you’ll never really get badly conned. The greedier a person is, the more vulnerable they are. You spin them some story, sometimes pointing out how it’s not quite moral or perhaps not even legitimate at all but hey, you can both make some easy money if they’re not going to get too fussy about the thing.

Sometimes, you hand them that obvious opening, which they think only they can see; a way of stiffing you for all the money you were both supposed to be sharing out at the end. That touch…

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“He whose Faith never Doubted, may justly doubt of his Faith.” Robert Boyle. (circa 1650, in his early 20s) Boyle also wrote, “The Dialect of Faith runs much upon the First Person[;] or True Faith speakes always in the First Persen.”

Ted Davis, writing at BioLogos, here, http://biologos.org/blog/faith-and-doubt-two-sides-of-the-same-coin

Dr. Davis points out, “Boyle understood both intuitively and cognitively a crucial fact about religious faith: it is a highly personal matter, and only those who take steps to examine their own beliefs can really lay claim to them and live accordingly. Needless to say, the conceptual box in which Richard Dawkins places religious faith will never hold Boyle’s.”

Read the rest of this entry »

I trust anyone who sees this recognizes my title, but to make it easy, http://bladerunner.wikia.com/wiki/Replicant.

Blade Runner was an excellent movie.

This article:

http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cells-egg-engineers-1.13582

is an excellent read. I encourage you to take the time.

PGC = primordial germ cells

http://www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/7.11943.1376993518!/image/making-babies-graphic.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_630/making-babies-graphic.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

Reading Watts Up with That is an exceptionally efficient way to learn. It is often entertaining too. Read Willis’ excellent article and wade through the comments too. Worthwhile.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Lots of folks claim that the worst possible thing we could do is to allow the third world to actually develop to the level of the industrialized nations. The conventional wisdom holds that there’s not enough fossil fuels in the world to do that, that fuel use would be ten times what it is today, that it’s not technically feasible to increase production that much, and that if we did that, the world would run out of oil in the very near future. I woke up this morning and for some reason I started wondering if that is all true. So as is my habit, I ran the numbers. I started with the marvelous graphing site, Gapminder, to take an overall look at the question. Here’s that graph:

energy use vs gdp per capitaFigure 1. Annual income per person (horizontal axis, constant dollars) versus annual energy use per person (tonnes…

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Insightful and honest article from Dr. Judith Curry. My thanks.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Motivated reasoning affects scientists as it does other groups in society, although it is often pretended that scientists somehow escape this predicament.

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Nuclear fission power generation will be the dominant power source. It needs no government subsidies.

Could This Reactor Convince Utilities to Build Nuclear Power? | MIT Technology Review.

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